Ohio Couple Turn Themselves In After Being Charged With Abandoning Their 9-Year-Old Adoptive Son

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via WCPO:
The Liberty Township parents accused of trying to give back their adopted son have turned themselves in to Butler County law enforcement officials. Cleveland Cox, 49, and his wife Lisa, 52, walked into the Butler County Jail at about 7 p.m. They were in the company of their attorney Anthony VanNoy.

The married Liberty Township couple tried to hand over their adopted 9-year-old son to Butler County Children’s Services on Oct. 24, according to prosecutor Michael Gmoser. The Coxes had raised the boy since he was 3 months old. The couple hadn’t been seen since Thursday when they took their other two adopted children out of school for what was described as a family emergency.
On Friday, the couple called the sheriff’s office to let them know they would be coming in so they can move forward with the proceedings, according to VanNoy, an attorney based out of Dayton. VanNoy says the Coxes are “devastated” and don’t understand the charges filed against them.

“I think the public is really going to question why they were indicted in the first place and charged with these misdemeanor offenses,” the attorney said at the jail. “We’ve never seen such a thing based on the information that I have in this scenario.”

Through their attorney, the Coxes said they love the boy and only wanted the best for him and their family. They said bringing their son to Children’s Services was the “right thing to do,” VanNoy said.

“They love this child and they have done everything and will continue to try to do things that they can do to help this child,” VanNoy said. “These are good folks. They come from a good family and they thought they were doing all the right things.”

While he says he hasn’t seen the police reports, VanNoy said “opinions will change” when the facts of the situation are revealed.

“At the appropriate time we’ll present the facts from our perspective as to what we did in order to best provide care for this child,” he said.

The Coxes were indicted Thursday on one count of nonsupport of dependents after “recklessly” abandoning him.

“If we have a case involving the abandonment of a child, the case will be a criminal charge of abandonment if it is applicable,” he said.

But Jami Clarke is looking at things a bit differently. She’s foster care director for Lighthouse Youth Services, which recently began handling adoptions.

“That is a very rare situation that an adoptive family would give a child back. I think most commonly they’ll reach out to the organization and ask for support, help, guidance so that this could be prevented,” she said.

The child’s guardian ad litem, Adolfo Olivas, said the boy’s parents cite aggressive behavior as their reasoning for returning him to children’s services. Olivas said the parents were frustrated that the boy would not agree to get help for his behavioral issues. One of the Coxes’ neighbors referred to the child as a “bad seed.” But while the family says it had a difficult time handling the child, Clarke said there’s plenty of help available for parents who are having a difficult time raising their child.

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Cleveland & Lisa Cox

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  • Mixed Chick

    When I first heard about this, I thought, ‘what the hell?’ Now that I have read a little bit more, I am familiar with many adoptive and foster parents who had children so bad, they had to give them up and face the court. Some of these children are so wicked, killing pets, abusing siblings the parents have no choice. I don’t know all the details of this, but particular case, I just hope they exhausted all resources to get the boy some help.

  • Lavon Emery

    It’s obvious that this boy is beyond out of control and unable to handle. I guess the system not happy until the boy murder his parents, hurt another child or etc., A lot of these kids in foster care are broken and unable to fix so its beyond that point for these parents because if it was not then they wouldnt be giving him back. I think that’s bull crap of the charges that are brought upon the couple. Hope the lil boy gets some help that is helpful.

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